Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Digi wireless router suits complex environments

Steve Rogerson
January 15, 2019



Digi has introduced the WR54 secure wireless router for complex mobile and industrial environments. With dual cellular interfaces for immediate failover and continuous connectivity, a hardened mil-spec-certified design and built-in security framework, it is designed for multi-location, on-the-move conditions from rail and public transit to trucking fleets and emergency vehicle applications.
 
Designed with 5G cellular capabilities in mind, this LTE-A router is for mission-critical data and communications in extreme environments. But according to Rick Gretsch, Digi VP of product management, “it’s not just the router, but the combination with Digi Remote Manager and Digi TrustFence that provides true value”.
 
Remote Manager is Digi’s web-based management tool that lets users simply manage devices, receive alerts and monitor the health of their deployed devices; TrustFence is a device security framework that adapts to new and evolving threats.
 
“Users get the high-speed architecture and future-built design of the Digi WR54 and WR64 along with corresponding device security, management, monitoring and data capabilities to best understand and optimise their transit operations and improve rider experiences,” said Gretsch.
 
With dual cellular interfaces, the WR54 provides immediate carrier failover for near-constant uptime and continuous connectivity, especially as vehicles move throughout a city or for locations with marginal cellular coverage.
 
While these data-intensive applications are ready to take advantage of the increasing speed capabilities of cellular networks, many industrial routers have not kept up. LTE-A technologies with carrier aggregation are pushing theoretical download speeds to 300Mbit/s, and the next generation of cellular radios is capable of aggregating three or more channels for capabilities up to 600Mbit/s. Additionally, it is anticipated that 5G deployments this year will push the demands for performance and edge computing even further. The WR54 brings an LTE-A cellular module built on a platform that supports higher speeds to optimise bandwidth today while also being positioned for the future as network capabilities improve.
 
Multiple transit system use cases require rugged, reliable, high-speed connectivity to carry mission-critical data and communications. Transit system integrators require connectivity for fleet tracking, logistics, engine and driver performance monitoring, fare collection and video monitoring; rail companies that are building in wayside data capabilities need constant visibility into complex systems; industrial corporations such as utility companies need to monitor high-value assets.
 
The WR54 architecture supports these requirements with not just the LTE-A cellular module, but four Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired systems and the 802.11ac wifi, which combine to support the needs of any user.
 
Other features include:

  • Dual-core 880MHz Mips processor: designed with this high-speed architecture, the WR54 is future-built with a CPU capable of supporting higher network speeds and capabilities as infrastructure is updated to support them.
  • SAE J1455, Mil -810G and IP-54 rated: tested and certified to withstand water, dust, heat, vibration and other environments suitable to transportation and many industrial applications.
  • Optional dual-cellular radios for continuous connectivity between carriers: for users that cannot afford downtime, if the primary cellular carrier drops out, the WR54 automatically and immediately switches over to the secondary carrier.
  • TrustFence: a device-security framework that simplifies the process of securing connected devices and adapts to new and evolving threats.
  • Remote Manager: with this web-based management tool, users can simply manage their devices, receive alerts and monitor the health of their deployed devices.
Additionally, for users looking to add high-speed passenger wifi to mass transit systems, the router offers all-in-one mobile communications for secure cellular connectivity between vehicles and a central operations centre. It has a flexible interface design with integrated wifi for client and access point connectivity along with USB, serial, four-port wired Ethernet switch, GPS and Bluetooth to consolidate multiple transit or industrial applications into a single, consolidated router.
 
“Traditionally, Digi excels at offerings like the WR54 and WR64, providing communications hardware that is capable of thriving in the most extreme environments, supporting mission-critical applications with higher next-generation performance,” said Gretsch. “Now, though, it’s not just the router, but the combination with Remote Manager and TrustFence that provides true value. Users get the high-speed architecture and future-built design of the WR54 and WR64 along with corresponding device security, management, monitoring and data capabilities to best understand and optimise their transit operations and improve rider experiences.”